As was always suggested, goods transport after leaving the EU is going to be challenging – leaving without a deal will be disastrous. As Logistics UK shows:
The Commons European Scrutiny Committee warns that:
…without an agreement on the prevailing safety regime applicable to the Tunnel, there is the real possibility of significant disruption to its operation.
This is at the same time there could be a queue of 7000 lorries in Kent – but unless the haulage permit system is sorted out there may well not be that number of lorries permitted to enter France.
Transport is notorious for working on tight margins and sitting in a queue for a couple of days means profits are quickly likely to turn into losses. Companies that survive will increase prices, which will affect all imports and exports.
The Chief executive of the Road Haulage Association is quoted in the same article (his restraint is admirable):
Mr Gove stresses that it’s essential that traders act now to get ready for new the formalities. We know for a fact that they are only too keen to be ready but how on earth can they prepare when there is still no clarity as to what they need to do?
Gove has been reading Lewis Carroll again – though goodnesss knows why he thinks it’s a handbook for international logistics:
“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don’t see any wine,” she remarked.
“There isn’t any,” said the March Hare.
And with Gove and Johnson’s management skills there is likely to be no tea either.